The National Government has been blamed for the stalling of the Ksh200 billion Special Economic Zone project in Plateau, Uasin Gishu County.
Deputy President William Ruto launched the project in 2017, but to date, it has not yet kicked off.
The Africa Economic Zone Pearl River located in Plateau, Kesses sub-county, about 40 kilometers from Eldoret town was the first to be established under the Special Economic Zones Act, 2015.
The zone is spearheaded by a Chinese company, the Guangdong New South Group, in partnership with a local firm, Africa Economic Zone (AEZ).
According to the Uasin Gishu Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno, the project is yet to kick off after the government failed to keep their end of the bargain – tarmacking of the road leading to the zone.
“There was a special economic zone at Plateau but the problem was that the government never implemented their part of the contract which was to tarmac the Ngeria to the economic zone road then to Saroiyot to enable easy machinery movement. Because no tarmac was constructed, the investors halted their plans,” Chemno noted.
He however expressed optimism that the government will address the challenge and enable the project to be back on course.
“We have 40 companies that committed to set up industries at the Special Economic Zones that would create up to 30,000 jobs and going forward, we are hoping things will be fixed so that our youths can benefit with job opportunities,” noted the Deputy County boss.
The Africa Economic Zone is the brainchild of DL Group Companies chairman David Lagat.
The project was to be undertaken in three phases and was expected to be one of Africa’s tech hub offering employment and propelling economic growth and development of Uasin Gishu County and the country at large.
In the first phase of the project dubbed AEZ Pearl River, the Chinese firm was to supervise the construction of an industrial park that will cover 700 acres consisting of various industries in agro-processing, energy, machinery, engineering, construction, electronic, ICT, chemical, and pharmaceutical sectors.
The second phase was to consist of a science and technology hub on an 86-acre piece of land.